Trade show growth is critical to the long-term success and viability of the show. But what are the factors and key indicators of show growth? Depending on the kind of show, they can differ. Shows that continue to evolve and provide value ensure that both the audience and the exhibitors continue to see value in participation. Here are 3 things to consider that can impact trade show growth.
Venue Size and Location
It is important to keep the energy and feel of the show buzzing. If the layout and/or number of exhibitors doesn’t match the space, then it can feel like attendance is down. That can create a negative effect for next year’s show. Ensure proper use of the venue space such as adding in additional seating areas, educational and/or speed meeting areas to fill unused or open spaces. Use of pipe and drape to block off unused areas can also keep the show floor moving and grooving.
Sometimes it can take a few years of growing a show and “out-growing” your location, and that’s ok. Be sure to keep that in mind when booking/contracting with locations for an extended amount of time. Some experts suggest letting the venue sell out and creating a waitlist to create a buzz for the industry and future shows.
Be sure to keep your show attendee/exhibitor demographic in mind , if the city/location of your show is up for change each year. This can be a balancing act as one location may be a better fit for one than the other. Some destinations may draw more attention than others, but it comes down to what you want your show to offer to attendees and exhibitors.
No matter where you land, there’s one thing to be sure of; engage with the local community. Be it local universities, mastermind groups, industry groups, etc.. working with the local presence can add impact to the show and create a deeper sense of connection with your attendees and exhibitors. Expand the show’s brand past the exhibit hall and see how that widens and increase the reach and growth.
Infrastructure and Contractor Support
Other aspects to consider are venue infrastructure and who is supporting the show. The loading facilities, infrastructure, union requirements and other aspects can definitely alter the success of a show. If there are issues that can mean extra costs for exhibitors, for example, and that can have a direct effect on a show’s success and growth.
If the loading docks are few or old that can add time to unloading and loading and that can make a huge difference for exhibitor experience. When the show venue is older, often times the floor can be darker and not as well lit, creating a less than appealing feel. Be sure that Wi-Fi offerings are up to par as this can have a massive impact on exhibitor and attendee experience and future shows.
Who’s Supporting the Show?
When it comes to union and/or general contractor support, be sure that you’ve got the right support and that your exhibitors understand associated costs. Also, making sure the contractor supporting the show is vetted and provides excellence in customer service and support can make or break your show.
Growth Over Time
You can’t offer the same show and expect different results (definition of insanity? 😉 ). Growth takes time and changes to the show year over year can help to compound that growth. Some experts say that it can take 3-5 years to see meaningful growth.
Pay close attention to the tweaks that are made each year and analyze what worked, what didn’t, and ask for feedback from attendees and exhibitors. Set measurable and attainable goals for year over year growth to see where the areas for opportunity are and what’s working overall.
Superior Expo Services is a leading family owned trade show general services contractor with over 25 successful years in the business. We know what it takes to ensure that both trade show organizers and exhibitors are supported and set up for success. We pride ourselves on providing superior performance that rivals the big guys, yet never compromises our grassroots customer-centric approach to project management, personal service and attention to every detail. Contact us today to learn more.